Digital Innovators: Validated Consumer Ratings at Purchase
There are plenty of online review websites, including the likes of Yelp, TripAdvisor and Trustpilot, collecting first-hand consumer reviews to help merchants improve upon their business. Even merchants themselves may ask consumers to review an experience via email or phone after the fact, except only a fraction of consumer ever do.
Georgina Nelson, who founded truRating in 2014, had the idea of asking consumers to provide a rating at the moment the purchase is executed in order link ratings to consumer spend and capture the opinion when the consumer is still in the act of purchasing. When a consumer begins the process of paying for a product or service, a question appears on the POS terminal asking consumers to rate their service experience on a scale from 0 to 9
“It is one point in the shopping experience where you have consumers there and engaging you,” said Nelson, who added that truRating has an 88% response rate. “You have them in that second.”
While there are different versions of the questions, all cover a key aspect of the service like value or atmosphere. If a consumer does not wish to rate the service, he or she can press clear to be taken to the traditional payment screen. Outside of the core questions set by truRating, merchants can also customize questions to evaluate certain aspects of service.
Merchants could leverage the customized questions to set up an A/B test environment that are commonly used in the digital world, but previously would have been difficult in a bricks-and-mortar location. For example, a company could change the layout or atmosphere in one store location and ask consumers to rate the experience in the test location versus a controlled environment. Merchants could use this information to determine the potential return on investment and if consumers are spending enough in the test environment to justify the investment.
“We wanted to really differentiate ourselves from review sites where anyone could go and write a review,” Nelson said. “Our ratings always have a connection to a purchase.”
The collected ratings feed into a business analytics dashboard for the merchants. From there, merchants could analyze ratings across different locations, competitor types or test out new ideas. So far, truRating has collected 1.35 million consumer ratings in its hometown of London and Sydney with plans to launch in Toronto and Atlanta soon.
Merchants span a variety of sectors including grocery, health and beauty, fashion, hospitality and petrol stations. While to date this service has resonated with small businesses that previously were unable to collect ratings, Nelson said some of the UK’s most popular high-street brands will begin piloting truRating later this year. In the coming months, it also plans to start offering a widget to embed within e-commerce websites and launch a consumer-facing website that will enable consumers to research a particular venue from its millions of reviews.
“We want consumers to have the option to rate their experience whether at POS terminal, on a mobile phone or ecommerce site,” Nelson said.
Forthcoming Consumer-Facing Ratings Website
Join Digital Consumer Manager Michelle Evans at the upcoming Money 20/20 Europe event in Copenhagen in April. Use the code “EURN200” to receive a €200 discount when registering. https://www.money2020europe.com